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March 23, 2009
Essex 273 for 7 (Gallian 70, Walker 53, ten Doeschate 84) beat Sussex 226 (Yardy 50, Brown 65, Chambers 5-42) by 47 runs
An explosive five-wicket haul from Essex's Jamaican-born paceman Maurice Chambers blew away Sussex's middle-order to hand a comfortable 47-run win and catapult his side into Wednesday's Pro Arch Trophy final.
Chambers, 21, bowled three hostile spells from both ends of the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi to claim 5-42 and dash any Sussex hopes of qualifying from the knock-out stages. In pursuit of 274, Sussex made a poor start in losing both their century-makers from the weekend, Ed Joyce and Chris Nash, early on. Joyce feathered a leg-cutter from David Masters through to the keeper to go for nine then Nash, after looking good for his 40 from 43 balls, suffered his second run-out of the event. Sent back by Michael Yardy seeking a quick single, he lost the race against Ryan ten Doeschate's return to the keeper. Yardy tried to make amendss with a typically quirky yet effective 64-ball half-century but soon after Chambers struck by having the left- hander athletically caught at cover by a sprawling Matt Walker.
Robin Martin-Jenkins skied a hurried pull from the next delivery to James Foster and, once top-scorer Ben Brown (65) flat batted a catch to point, the Sussex tail succumbed meekly thereafter as Chambers wrapped up the win with 26 balls to spare.
With a beaming smile, Chambers said afterwards: "The lads at Essex are showing a lot of confidence in me but at the end of the day it's down to the individual to push himself forward. I enjoy bowling, it's something I love to do and I want to keep on doing it and putting in those sorts of performances for Essex.
"It was a pretty flat wicket to be honest, so I just tried to adapt to the situation and the conditions as quickly as I could by hitting the deck just back of a length and get it to go away from the batsman."
Though he missed out on a hat-trick, he was taken off by his skipper Mark Pettini after taking two in two and re-introduced half-an-hour later, and Chambers had no doubt as to which of the five scalps he treasured most: the Sussex captain, Yardy.
"His batting style is something else! He's a hard person to bowl at because it looks like he's coming at you every ball. I just tried to do something different by going around the wicket."
It proved a frustrating day for Sussex who were not really at their best with either bat or ball. Having removed Pettini (14) and Jaik Mickleburgh (1) inside 10 overs, they allowed Eagles to break their stranglehold courtesy of a third-wicket stand of 80 in 14 overs between Jason Gallian and Matt Walker, Gallian 's 70 included 10 fours and in going for an 11th he checked the drive and succeeded in picking out Ed Joyce at long-off.
Walker, who needed hospital treatment for dehydration after his fifty last Tuesday, again reached the milestone this time from 58 balls, but in attempting to work to leg he left leg stump exposed to Martin-Jenkins. As was the case in their opening game of the tournament, the Essex innings was given the necessary impetus by ten Doeschate who was only 16 short of a deserved ton when he fell leg- before to Chris Liddle, but by then Essex were already well on their way to the final.
Mark Pennell is a freelance journalist who is covering the Pro Arch Trophy for Cricinfo
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